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Temple Peak

Riding from the top of Temple Basin Club Field

Ski Touring Difficult

8.8 km
1.3 km
1.3 km
5-6 hrs
Low Point
896 m
High Point
1.9 km
Temple Peak Map

Temple Basin is a place of legends as it is more of a backcountry ski resort than what you would normally think of. Just getting to the ski hill is a 400 meter climb before arriving at the lodge. This place is famous for numerous reasons and one of which being the Nutcracker lifts which is like a rope tow on steroids and you have a split second to grab the rope and put the nutcracker on before the pullies break your fingers. That being said the place is amazing and well worth visiting and Temple Peak is one of the many lines to ride in the area.


Starting off just after the town of Arthurs Pass you will arrive at the Temple Basin Parking lot. If the gear lift is running you can put your gear on there before starting the journey up to the ski hill. Going up numerous switchbacks the terrain will finally mellow out in the upper basin where the lodge is located.

From Temple Basin Lodge you can take the first nutcracker which drags you to the upper traverse where you need to take your board off and walk over to the second nutcracker. If you are not using a lift ticket you can just hike but make sure to stay off to the side not to both people who are riding down.

After being dragged up the second rope tow you will be just below Temple Col. If you didn’t buy a lift ticket you can hike up near the lift but make sure to be far enough away not to get in the way of people. Once at the top of the chair start descending to the skiers right until arriving at the base of of a southwest facing chute. Now it is time to climb the up a small chute to gain the southern ridge of Mount Temple which is relatively easy until arriving on the summit.

Once on top strap on your board and ride down the southwest slopes which forms a semi open chute that descends all the way into the basin. The terrain lower opens up and you need to start traversing back to the nutcracker. Either you can get a lift back to the upper slopes where you need to traverse back down to the lodge or you can just walk along the lower travers which both bring you back to the lodge. Now it is time to drop your gear off at the gear lift and walk back down to the parking lot.

For more pictures and the full story check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/new-zealand/temple-basin-splitfest-2014/



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between August and November


  • Alpine
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area